Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $7.3 million grant to the North Slope Borough, Alaska, for transportation infrastructure.
Recent climate-linked flooding has disrupted the only existing route to Ilisagvik College and the Barrow Arctic Research Center. This project will support community resiliency through the construction of a 1.4-mile road providing an alternate access corridor to these two local employers, helping Alaskans get to work. The EDA investment will be matched with $1.8 million in local funds and is expected to generate $10.2 million in private investment.
“President Biden is working tirelessly to fight the long-term effects of climate change while simultaneously dealing with its immediate impacts,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This grant will safeguard the jobs of Alaskans by promoting community resiliency through upgrades to the North Slope Borough’s transportation infrastructure.”
“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in helping communities recover from the impacts of disaster by building stronger and more resilient economies,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This EDA investment supports construction of an alternate route to Ilisagvik College and the Barrow Arctic Research Center, ensuring residents have safe and dependable access to their worksites.”
“Alaska’s infrastructure, economy and community resilience are interconnected. The threat of flooding in Utqiagvik between Ilisagvik College and the Barrow Arctic Research Center, important places of education and employment in the North Slope Borough, jeopardizes safe travel,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “This grant from the EDA to the North Slope Borough will enhance the region’s infrastructure, allow critical research to continue, and ensure people have access to work and school – all while strengthening the community’s resiliency.”
“Alaska is a resource-rich, but infrastructure-poor state,” said Senator Dan Sullivan. “Since serving as a senator for Alaska, I’ve been pushing for more federal infrastructure investment that will help our state realize its full economic potential, keep our citizens safe, and strengthen our national security. I’m glad to see this significant grant award going to ensure Alaskans in Utqiagvik have safe and reliable access to all parts of their community.”
This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.